Holocaust Survivor Oversees Start of New Italian Parliament

Last updated: 2023-03-04 06:14

Italy’s new parliament opened on Thursday, with a Holocaust survivor presiding over the first session of the upper house Senate.


Ms. Liliana Segre was the only member of her family to emerge alive from the Nazi Auschwitz concentration camp at the end of the war. Honoured as a senator for life, the 92 year-old is the oldest active member of the house, meaning she had a privilege to start proceedings.

The Senate’s first duty is to elect a president, who is likely to be Mr. Ignazio La Russa – a senior member of Brothers of Italy party, which won the most seats in the Sept. 25 election.

Ms. Segre made no public comment about the recent election or the expected elevation of Mr. La Russa to the role of Senate speaker – the second highest institutional job in Italy after the president of the republic.

Brothers of Italy leader Ms. Giorgia Meloni looks sure to become Italy’s first female prime minister after her party won more votes than her main allies –the League, headed by Mr. Matteo Salvini, and Mr. Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia group.

The upper and lower houses will be less crowded than before.

In an effort to reduce costs, the previous parliament voted to cut the number of lawmakers, meaning there will be just 400 deputies in the lower chamber against a previous 630 and only 200 elected senators compared with 315 before.

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